- In August of 1994, a bizarre sequence
of events began to occur in the small town of Oakville, Washington. Gelatinous
blobs of biological material began to rain down over an area of over 20
square miles during a storm. It would happen six times in 1994, and continue
periodically thereafter. The latest was during the third week of June 1997.
- The fact that this was going on would
not generally be known outside of Oakville until an episode of Unsolved
Mysteries on Thursday, May 8, 1997, hosted by Robert Stack: (9 min, 36
- (Introduction, Robert Stack):
- "It came from the skies to wreck
havoc on the earth. It sounds like a bad science fiction movie, but for
the little town in Washington there was nothing entertaining about the
scourge that befell them in 1994. Six times it rained down from above,
leaving dozens of local residents ill, and several pets and small animals
- "It all happened in Oakville, Washington,
population 665. Here in Oakville, clouds fill the skies daily, bringing
rain some 275 days a year. So, when it began pouring on the morning of
August 7, 1994, no one was particularly concerned - until they realized
it wasn't raining rain. It was raining tiny blobs of gelatinous goo.
It came down in torrents, blanketing 20 square miles, and brought with
it something of a plague."
- Maurice Gobeil (local resident): "
I got sick, my wife got sick, my daughter got sick and everybody that lived
here got sick."
- Beverly Roberts (local resident): "
Everybody in the whole town came down with something like the flu, only
it was a really hard flu that lasted from seven weeks to two or three months."
- Robert Stack: "The local police
were among the first to report the perplexing precipitation. Officer David
Lacey was on patrol with a civilian friend at 3am when the downpour began."
- David Lacey (police officer): "We
turned our windshield wipers on, and it just started smearing to the point
where we could almost not see. We both looked at each other and we said
'gee this isn't right'. We're out in the middle of nowhere, basically,
and where did this come from?"
- Robert Stack: "Officer Lacey pulled
into a gas station to de-goo his windshield. As an added precaution, he
put on a pair of latex gloves."
- David Lacey (police officer): "The
substance was very mushy, almost like if you had jello in your hand. You
know, you could pretty much squish it through your fingers. We knew it
wasn't something we would normally see, because we had never experienced
it before. We had some bells go off in our heads that said that basically
'this isn't right, this isn't normal."
- Robert Stack: "Local resident Dotty
Hearn was equally baffled. By the time she stepped outside that morning,
the storm had ended, but the blobs were everywhere. "
- Dotty Hearn (local resident): "It
looked like hail, laying on top of the wood box and everywhere else, so
I just went over and I touched it. It wasn't hail. It was a gelatinous
- Robert Stack: "By mid-afternoon,
officer Lacey had inexplicably taken ill."
- David Lacey (police officer): "I
was to the point where I could hardly breathe. I started to put together
that possibly whatever the substance was, it had made me violently sick
and ill like I had never been before, to the point where it just totally
shut me down."
- Robert Stack: "Across town, Dotty
Hearn wasn't fairing much better."
- Dotty Hearn (local resident): "I
started feeling dizzy, and everything started moving around. It got worse,
and as it did I became increasingly nauseated.
- Robert Stack: "An hour later, Dotty's
daughter and son found her sprawled on the bathroom floor."
- Sunny Barclift: "She was cold, drenched
with perspiration and pale. My mom had been vomiting, had extreme vertigo
and had been complaining that she had extreme difficulty with her vision.
- Robert Stack: "Dotty would spend
the next three days in the hospital. They diagnosed her with "a severe
inner ear infection."
- Sunny: "For some reason, as we were
going out the door, I remembered the substance, and I wondered if perhaps
it might have had some sort of effect on her. So, I opted at that moment
to take a sample of the gelatinous material to the hospital."
- Robert Stack: "A lab technician
found the first startling clue. The substance contained human white blood
cells, but exactly what it was could not be determined. The goo was promptly
forwarded to the Washington State Department of Health for further analysis."
- Mike McDowell (Microbiologist, WSDH):
"It was very uniform. There was no structure that we could see visibly
with a microscope. I set it up on various microbiological media and attempted
to isolate bacteria."
- Robert Stack: "Mike McDowell discovered
that the sample was literally teaming with two species of bacteria, one
of which make its home in the human digestive system."
- Sunny: "The initial speculation
was that it might have been human waste from an airliner, however that
was out, because under FAA regulations aircraft waste matter is dyed blue.
This material was not blue, but crystal clear in color."
- Robert Stack: "The blobs rained
down over Oakville six times over a three week period. Dozens of people
took ill and many animals died after coming into contact with the toxic
droplets. But the nature of the substance, and any connection it may have
had with the outbreak, remained a mystery. Dotty took a sample of the material
to a private research lab."
- Tim Davis (Microbiologist, Amtest Labs):
"Here we have sample 128-76. I saw what I think was a eukaryotic
cell, which was basically a cell that has a definable nucleus and is present
in most animals."
- Robert Stack: "Translation? The
goo was alive. How in the world did living matter make its way into the
clouds? It was as mind-boggling as the substance itself. Perhaps inevitably,
the finger of suspicion was pointed directly at the military. The Air
Force denies any knowledge of the substance, or any involvement in creating
or dispersing it. Local residents, however, don't buy it."
- Sunny: "We had a significant number
of military aircraft flying over the home prior to this happening."
- Dotty: "Every day almost, there
were low flying helicopters that were black in color. We kind of thought
it might have come from them."
- Maurice: "They let off things in
the air all the time here. There's testing done all over the place. There
are places you can't go into."
- Robert Stack: "Translation - germ
warfare. However, it seems unlikely, given the severe international restrictions
regarding experiments with biological weapons in populated areas. At present,
it is impossible to say what this goo was or where it came from. Unfortunately,
all samples of this substance are gone, making further study impossible.
Perhaps the answer will come someday soon, when the skies open up over
another small community, and the blobs once again fall to earth."
- Media coverage of these events didn't
stop there. A Seattle television station show called Evening Magazine
also broadcast a story on the goings-on in Oakville in 1997. The Seattle
Post Intelligencer had stories on August 18th and 20th in 1994 shortly
after the original Unsolved Mysteries broadcast.
- Evidence that the same type of activity
may still be occurring in Washington State came in on Seattle TV Channel
5, 5:30pm, on December 9, 1997, in which mysterious "blobs" of
material are now falling in Everett, Washington According to the television
news report on December 9th, mysterious goo turned up in a parking lot
in Everett, Washington. Appearing to be a clear, gel-like substance similar
to that which has been periodically falling from the skies since 1994,
coincident with the overflight of military aircraft, it was discovered
after a storm. Hazardous materials testing failed to discover what the
substance was. Samples have been sent to a laboratory for testing. The
news broadcast made reference to six 1994 falls of similar unidentifiable
material in Oakville, Washington. Testing results should be known within
a week, according to the news broadcast.
- FLUBBER fell on the wrong Washington.